|Source of picture: ayazafe|
“So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”
For years I had been meaning to pick up The Perks of Being a Wallflower and be able to read through the beautiful quotes and reflective thoughts of a 15 year old boy named Charlie. I was lent this book by a close friend of mine and finished it in less than 2 days. I won't delve into the particulars of the storyline. The purpose of my posts about books and films are not to review them but rather the need to share what I've taken from their pages.
I read all sorts of books but usually find myself reading those that detail the discoveries of oneself. What better way to continue this tradition than by reading a book from a teenager's perspective - the views of one leaving childhood and becoming an adult. I have a very soft spot for coming-of-age stories. I wish I had read alot more coming-of-age stories when I was in high school. Maybe I could have related to the dramas and struggles that only adolescence knows but I guess I was too lazy to do anything back then and reading books were far from my mind. I had grades, crushes and friendships to worry about as well as the ability to mould myself into my circle, otherwise known as 'fitting in'. Haha. Those issues aren't too far off where I am now, just replace 'fitting in' with 'finding a job'.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower deals with the usual teenage angsty confusion we've come to expect of such books that deal with sexuality, family, love, drugs and relatable music. Personally, what made me a fan of this particular work by Chbosky were his quotes. I am a sucker for brilliant phrases and positive mantras, especially ones written so simply and this text has an abundance of them. There's a great power that lies behind a simple quote. It doesn't try and convey the message through obscurity or complexity. It lies bare before you and makes the reader think "Yeah... life really is that blunt". Simple quotes are plain but they speak enough truth for everyone to understand.
At the end of the book, I had an overwhelming need to give Charlie the biggest hug in the world. He discovers a realisation that many teenagers tend not to discover until much later in their lives, and tragically some realise it too late - the notion that things just keep going. Whether they be good or bad. There's not much one can do and dwelling over unfortunate circumstances and scrutinising it to death is unhealthy, unnecessary and does no-one any favours. In saying that, it is important to reflect over these things once in a while because it makes things feel clear and together. But no matter what, things just keep going, things will get better. They always do.